‘Tasha’ has grown beyond being the name of an individual fan of Jayso. It has come to symbolise all of his “core fans.” ‘Making Tasha Proud’ has, in the same vein, also come to represent, essentially, Jayso’s ultimate artistic mission: to make his core fans proud. After many years of postponements and anticipation, Jayso finally dropped his debut album, Making Tasha Proud, in 2015 – a project which was undoubtedly worth the wait. After that release, Jayso went on to release a surprise EP on his birthday in June this year, titled ’01/06.’
In this yoyo tinz dialogue with Moshood, Making Tasha Proud takes centre stage; as it is explored – from it’s songs all through to it’s themes. Jayso also shares his thoughts on love vis a vis rap music, and some insights into the coinage ‘GH RAP.’
‘Making Tasha Proud’ is arguably your most popular song. Incidentally, it’s that Jayso song in which we hear the most Twi. Would you then say that language had anything to do with the success of the song?
– It was a factor but I do not think that is the main reason why the song enjoyed the success it gained. From the afro-beat/hip-hop fusion in the instrumental to A.I’s captivating chorus, the message and my rap-style. Everything about the song is nothing short of amazing. However, we cannot deny the fact that language has been a major factor especially for musicians in the hip-life/hip-hop genre.
‘Tasha’ (and making them proud) has become a very symbolic thing for you as an artiste. Would you please tell us a bit more about this symbolism?
-“Tasha” represents all my core fans. The frequently asked question is “Who is Tasha?”. Tasha is Jayso’s biggest fan. For artists like me, making the core fan proud is the highlight. There’s been times I wanted to hang the mic and pursue other interests but I keep going because there are people out there who look up to me and gain a lot of inspiration from my music. I have to keep making them Proud.
Your daughter, Nessa, is featured on the album. How did that collaboration come about?
Nessa hangs out in the studio with me a lot. I was recording the intro to the beat and heard her rapping along. I asked her to join me in the booth and let’s just say “My Daddy Is A Champ” happened.
Quite a number of rappers have insinuated that love (or more specifically, romantic love) is not a rapper thing. You however prick holes into these suggestions by making a significant amount of love songs (beautiful ones too) that explore love in a broad range; and in most of these songs you’re quite sentimental. In light of all this, what’s your view on that standpoint, and also, what’s your idea/definition of love?
Rap is nothing without a message. I like to rap/sing about different topics and love, to me, is the most important message. I disagree when people say it’s not a rapper thing. Perhaps those people would rather listen to rappers talking about guns and drugs. FYI, some of the biggest hip-hop artists and I mean global hip-hop artists have recorded “Love Songs”. From L.L Cool J to DMX to Nas to Jay Z to Method Man to …. should I keep going?
You seem to be very concerned with the depth and overall quality -or lack thereof- of the rap music that comes out of here these days. What, in your estimation, is an all-round, good (rap) music?
A well crafted song does it for me. Lyrics, composition, instrumentation, engineering etc. I pay attention to detail. If it’s not well crafted, I cannot enjoy it.
What exactly is Gh Rap? And is it distinct from Hiplife? If so, what are the nuances that set Gh Rap apart?
To understand the term, one needs to understand how it started. GH-Rap came about at a time when english/pidgin rappers did not have a place in Ghanaian Music. It is not a genre and not so different from hip-life except we couldn’t associate with hip-life because around the time (2005) the hip-life sound had changed completely. Rap music from Ghana (GH-Rap) started as a in-house term amongst the Skillions to give us an identity. What started as an in-house thing quickly became an industry term.
A close listen to your album reveals an interesting relationship between you and social media: with trolls and fans etc. Tell us about this.
Nothing here that isn’t “normal” for anyone pursuing a dream
Do you have any thoughts to share on fashion in Ghana in relation to Hip Hop?
Nope. Rock what you wanna rock. I’m more interested in the message in the music
At your album launch you disclosed that there was a Skillions Old Generation album in the works. For the benefit of those who were not present, kindly touch on this again.
We are working hard to make this happen. That’s all i’ll say for now.
What’s your fondest Skillions memory?
Hanging in the studio with the guys. Anytime we got together to make music.
Complete this: Rap music is not ………………. for everybody